An Eclectic Estate


Designed By: Mercedes Williams Photos By: Morgan Blake

A lifetime of adventures also means a lifetime’s worth of precious items. That’s what happened to Steve Mckenna and Tim Tyson when trying to decide how to pull all of their belongings together for their new 4,800-square-foot modern home in Atlanta. “My mother had a lot of my grandmother’s art deco furnishings and lamps and I wound up with this stuff,” said Tim. “We also had some furniture from our other home, but since we were moving to a much larger space, we really needed help to make it all work together.”

With a combo of vintage pieces, Cantoni furniture from their home in San Francisco and a desire for a new contemporary look, the pair enlisted the help of Cantoni design consultant Mercedes Williams to put it all together. Working with the couple to create a cohesive design, Mercedes identified which pieces worked and which key pieces were needed in addition to choosing the optimal lighting, interior finishes, accessories and art.

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“They had inherited pieces like the glass vases and other antique items that needed to fit in this modern space,” said Mercedes. “It can be difficult taking on an eclectic home, so it was my job to make it cohesive. They knew what they liked, but wanted some help to make it work together. I figured out how we could mix the old with the new.”

In addition to their variety pieces they wanted to include, Tim and Steve also had differing opinions in style too. “My partner and I are very different,” admitted Tim. “I like neutrals and Steve wants blindingly bright colors.”

The end result was a perfect blend of both, something that can be tricky in any space. “To make it flow, I selected main neutral pieces and then added pops of color with art, painted walls and accessories,” revealed Mercedes.

The downstairs open floor plan meant the dining and living room blended together. So, a curved sectional was used to make a natural separation. Mercedes applied the same neutral color scheme in the dining room to pull the two spaces together.

The mixed media art and blue-toned pillows were used to highlight focal points in the living room, while multi-colored glass bottles added the pop in the dining area. There are multiple focal points,” noted Mercedes. “Everywhere you look there’s something to enjoy like the Ice chandelier above the dining table and the colorful art hanging on the wall nearby.”

This unique blend carried through to Steve’s workspace. “The desk is a piece they already owned,” said Mercedes. “Then I was able to make a custom filing system in color (the first time I’ve ever done that), to bring in the pops of color.”

After 16 months, the home was finally complete, pleasing both Tim and Steve’s needs. “Mercedes was really good at navigating those treacherous waters,” concluded Tim. “I was concerned our home was so large, I wouldn’t know how to decorate it, but Mercedes was able to create a space that didn’t look cluttered, too big or too small. It’s perfect.”

I’ve worked with Mercedes before and he's great. I like more neutral tones and my husband likes lots of colors. Mercedes was able to please both of our tastes and make our space perfect.

— Tim Tyson, Atlanta

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